Crude: Sea Slug
Anne Austin Pearce
Crude: Sea Slug, 2021
Glass, shell, wood, stone, coral
Not currently on view.
About the Work
Pearce’s small sculptures exist somewhere between decorative glass vessels and emollient blobs. Natural debris like shells, sticks, and stones are embedded in each of the vessel-like sculptures, which appear at once ensnared and memorialized. Central to Pearce’s investigation is a deep interest in reconfiguring human relationships to Earth and all its living inhabitants. She has traveled the world, observing landscapes and eco-systems—especially those which are tropical—that has suffered various levels of exploitation and extraction through colonial and Capitalistic practices. Her work draws attention to the human tendency to isolate, pull apart, and exploit the natural world, while also examining the conflicting realms of eco-colonialism and empathy.
For Pearce, glass is the perfect material to gather, carry, and ultimately display the natural ephemera she stores and reflects upon. The vessels are both the captor and the contained, a visual reference of this Anthropocene-era in which humans are centered as the dominant influence of the Earth’s climate dynamics. But, echoing Indigenous knowledge, the artist aims to break down this human-topped hierarchy. She uses her fantastical glass forms to imagine an alternate system of interspecies collaboration, wherein artistic strategies stimulate dialogue about possibilities for human and non-human animals to work together in Nature and going forward.